Tuesday, April 19, 2005 [TORONTO, ON] - The Toronto Lynx presented their 2005 Toronto Lynx roster and announced the acquisition of an exceptional defender, Jeremie Piette, thereby solidifying their back line today. This former Vancouver Whitecaps defender from the 2004 season was instrumental in allowing the club to reach the Western Conference finals. After being drafted 54th overall in the 2002 MLS Superdraft, Piette trained with both Dallas and the Kansas City Wizards before making his professional soccer debut with the Cincinnati Riverhawks of the A-League. After joining the Whitecaps midway through the 2004 season, Piette became quite a force to be reckoned with playing every minute for the rest of the 2004 season and earning the Whitecaps Rookie of the Year honours. Piette's physical stature and his rapid style of play will be a great asset for the Lynx defense. Originating from Texas, the head coach believes that he will be able to improve on the 2004 Lynx defense which allowed an Eastern Conference worst, 50 goal in 28 games, last season.

"Toronto is a multicultural city and will continue to attract players globally," explained new Lynx Head Coach, Hubert Busby Jr. "Jeremie's signing signifies the "new era" in terms of the direction that this club is headed. He is an extremely physical and athletic defender who fits into our philosophy of play this season."

Before beginning his professional career, Piette enjoyed an outstanding career at the West Texas A&M University, where he led the Buffaloes to three Lone Star Conference championships from 1999-2001 and earned First Team All-Conference honours each season. The 25-year old has also gathered some valuable international experience playing with FC Nordjyland in Denmark, Geylang United in Singapore and Portmore United of Jamaica before embarking on his North American professional playing career.


The Lynx also announced a familiar face as the starting goalkeeper for the 2005 season, as Theo Zagar will return to the club. Zagar, who holds virtually every club goalkeeping record, was traded to the Rochester Raging Rhinos prior to the 2004 season after six standout seasons with the Lynx. The three-time Lynx Most Valuable Player and 2000 Second-team All-A-League selection is a native of East York and graduate of University of Toronto.


Despite the major overhaul of the Lynx roster, several popular veterans have re-signed with the club for the 2005 season as announced today at the Lynx annual Meet the Lynx Luncheon & Press Conference. Silky smooth midfielder, David Di Placido, the longest serving member of the Lynx and 2003 Lynx Best Offensive Player Award Winner, will return to the club for an eighth season. Di Placido ranks among the Lynx all-time top ten in goals and points as well as games and minutes played. Shawn Faria, a rock in the centre of the Lynx midfield for the previous three years, has also re-signed. Despite missing parts of the past two seasons with injuries, Faria has proven to be one of the most tenacious and physical players in the USL First Division over his time with the Lynx. Finally, athletic defender, Josue Mayard, will also return to the Lynx for 2005 season. A regular in the Haitian National Team, the Montreal native will be sure flourish in Coach Busby's new style of play which emphasizes speed and athleticism.

The Lynx also announced the return of Rick Titus for the 2005 season. Titus begins his third stint with the Lynx after beginning his A-League career with Toronto in 1997 and returning for one match in 2004. A former A-League Defender of the Year (Vancouver 2001) and A-League Champion (Charleston 2003), Titus will provide leadership and experience for the young Lynx roster. In addition to his A-League accomplishments, Titus also enjoyed success with the Colorado Rapids of MLS and the Trinidad and Tobago National Team.


The 2005 Lynx roster will also feature several new players: Robin Hart, Niels Dekker, and Huffman Eja-Tabe. Of the talented trio of young Canadians presented at the conference, only Hart has experience in the USL First Division having played with Edmonton FC in 2004. A former member of the Ottawa Wizards of the CPSL, coached by Hubert Busby Jr., Hart is a versatile wide player with good speed and skill. The Victoria, British Columbia native appeared in 13 matches with Edmonton FC last season.

Huffman Eja-Tabe is also familiar to Busby, having played for him with St. Anthony's Italia in Ottawa last season. The midfielder from Cameroon is a permanent resident in Canada with awesome ball skills that will certainly make him a crowd favourite this season. The final member of the 2005 roster announced today was midfielder, Niels Dekker, who will join the roster pending international clearance. The hard tackler played last season as an amateur with BVV Barendrecht in the Netherlands and will make his professional soccer debut this season.


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